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French Irregular -IR Verbs

Learn about patterns for irregular -ir French verbs


Irregular verbs are the bane of every French student's existence, but there is some good news. There are some patterns in the irregularities - once you learn the conjugations for one verb in a group, you shouldn't have any trouble with the other verbs in that group.

There are two groups of irregular -IR verbs:

1. The first group of irregular verbs includes dormir, mentir, partir, sentir, servir, sortir, and all of their derivatives (repartir, etc). These verbs drop the last letter of the radical in the singular conjugations - see example in table below.

2. The second group of verbs includes couvrir, cueillir, découvrir, offrir, ouvrir, souffrir, and their derivatives (recouvrir, etc). These verbs are conjugated like regular -ER verbs - see example in table below.

The rest of the irregular -IR verbs don't follow a pattern - you have to memorize the conjugations for each one separately: asseoir, courir, devoir, falloir, mourir, pleuvoir, pouvoir, recevoir, savoir, tenir, valoir, venir, voir, vouloir

Click any verb for the complete conjugation table.

  Group 1 Group 2
Pronoun Endings dormir > dor(m)- Endings couvrir > couvr-
je -s dors -e couvre
tu -s dors -es couvres
il -t dort -e couvre
nous -ons dormons -ons couvrons
vous -ez dormez -ez couvrez
ils -ent dorment -ent couvrent
Test on irregular -IR verbs
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